JA 18 Under 18 2024


Described as a caring, motivated young woman with a passion for mentorship and education, Alaina created the Helping Hawks Tutoring and Mentoring Program that connects high school mentors with middle school students who need extra support academically. The effort has been so successful, she created a website to share the mentoring model nationally. Additionally, Alaina is a dedicated Girl Scout. Through her work at the Urbana Food Bank, she noticed families who were financially challenged and could not feed their pets. She created the Pet Pantry to distribute pet food items to families in need. Over four years, the 11th grader has dedicated over 300 hours to this cause, collected approximately 4,000 items, and feeds over 100 pets each month. She also co-facilitates virtual pet safety workshops for younger Girl Scouts.

“Alaina is not just an impressive leader today, but she has demonstrated the initiative, vision, and relentless dedication to keep driving positive change in her community for years to come.” —Dr. Aarrthy Arunachalam, nominator

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